THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
Chapters: 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 12 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16 * 17 * 18 * 19 * 20

The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra

Chapter 14: Happily Dwelling Conduct
With Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

This chapter is called “Happily-Dwelling Conduct.” [The Sanskrit title of the chapter is Sukha-Vihara. Sukha means "happy," and Vihara means "dwelling." The Chinese translation is “an le heng”, literally “dwelling-happy-conduct.”] Happily-dwelling conduct is the Bodhisattva Conduct, and the Bodhisattva Conduct is itself the happily-dwelling conduct. One happily dwells in the doors of practice cultivated by Bodhisattvas. Both one's body and one's mind reside in the states of cultivation of the Bodhisattva Way, and do so happily, since that is what one likes to do.

The Masters of the Dharma Chapter, the Devadatta Chapter, and the Exhortation to Maintain Chapter, which came previously, were very important sections of the Dharma Flower Sutra. This chapter is even more important. The reason one happily dwells is that one sits on the Thus Come One's throne, puts on the Thus Come One's robe, and enters the Thus Come One's room. One cultivates that kind of happily dwelling conduct.

Happily-dwelling conduct is the road on which one must travel in cultivating the Bodhisattva Way, hence the name of this chapter, Happily Dwelling Conduct, chapter fourteen.

Sutra:


At that time, Dharma Prince Manjushri Bodhisattva Mahasattva said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, all these Bodhisattvas are extremely rare. Reverently complying with the Buddha, they have made great vows to protect, maintain, read, and speak this Dharma Flower Sutra in the future evil age.”

Outline:

D5. This is the fifth chapter in the “door of the traces” and circulation of the Sutra section.

E1. The question

F1. Praising the Bodhisattvas of profound practice, discussed in the previous chapter, who are able to propagate the Sutra in accord with the Dharma.

Commentary:

At that time is when the Buddha had finished speaking the “Exhortation to Maintain Chapter” and was ready to speak the “Happily Dwelling Conduct Chapter”. Manjushri Bodhisattva's name is a Sanskrit word. Some translate it as “Wonderful Virtue,” and some as “Wonderfully Auspicious.” But Wonderful Virtue is Wonderfully Auspicious, and the meaning is the same. In general, this Bodhisattva's state is inconceivable. As explained in the commentary to the Earth Store Sutra, ten auspicious signs occurred when Manjushri Bodhisattva was born, setting him apart from other Bodhisattvas.

While Manjushri Bodhisattva was cultivating the Bodhisattva Conduct, he never lied, killed, or stole. He kept the precepts very carefully. There is proof that he never stole. One time he said to the other Bodhisattvas, “From the time I first brought forth my resolve to cultivate, I have always maintained the precept against stealing. That is why no one ever steals from me. Why, I could set my most valuable possession down on the ground, and no one would steal it.”

Some of the Bodhisattvas did not believe him, and said, “We should test this out. Bring your most valuable possession, and we will put it in front of the city gate.” They chose that spot because it was where the most people came and went. “We will leave it there for three days, and if no one has taken it by the end of that time, that will prove what you say is true.”

Manjushri Bodhisattva said, “Fine, let's try it out.” He took his most valuable gem—Bodhisattvas have many treasures—and put it in front of the city gate. People came in and out of the city through the gate for three days, but no one took the jewel. The Bodhisattvas then knew that Manjushri Bodhisattva had truly maintained the precept against stealing.

This Bodhisattva has the greatest wisdom. Why? Because he cultivated Prajna practices. From the time he began to cultivate the Bodhisattva Way, he cultivated Prajna. He cultivated Literary Prajna, Contemplative Prajna, and Real Mark Prajna—the three kinds of Prajna. As a result, his wisdom is the greatest.

Before Shakyamuni Buddha realized Buddhahood, he studied the Buddhadharma under this Bodhisattva, who appeared earlier in the Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra as the Bodhisattva Wondrous Light. Manjushri Bodhisattva is also the Dharma Master Wondrous Light.

So, you who are cultivating the Way and have taken precepts must truly keep the precepts. If we do not truly keep the precepts now, later when it is time for us to realize the Way, our realization would not be true either. For that reason, we should learn to be like Manjushri Bodhisattva: We should not kill, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie or take intoxicants.

Dharma Prince” is Manjushri Bodhisattva's title. The Buddha is the Dharma King. He is the King within the Dharma, the God among Gods, and the Sage among Sages. Bodhisattvas are Dharma Princes. They are the sons of the Dharma King. Hence, Manjushri Bodhisattva is called the Prince of Dharma.

Bodhisattva” is a Sanskrit word. “Bodhi” means “enlightenment,” and “sattva” means “being(s)”, so the whole word means “one who enlightens beings.” A Bodhisattva can help other living beings to become enlightened. A Bodhisattva is also a living being who is enlightened. He is a living being just as we are but he is enlightened living being among sentient beings. That is the meaning of Bodhisattva.

“Mahasattva” is also a Sanskrit word. “Maha” means “great,” and “sattva” is the Bodhisattva. Mahasattvas are the great Bodhisattvas among Bodhisattvas, which means they are senior, not junior Bodhisattvas. Junior Bodhisattvas are those who have just brought forth the resolve for Bodhi, who have just decided they want to be Bodhisattvas. It is not certain that Bodhisattvas who are newly resolved will necessarily become Bodhisattvas. Why not? Because some make the resolve for one, two, or three days and then run away. For example, Shariputra wanted to practice the Bodhisattva Way, but then retreated. The ancients had a verse which describes this very well:

Fish eggs, amalakas,
And newly resolved Bodhisattvas:
All three are many on the causal ground,
But few at the level of fruition.

Fish lay many eggs, but a large number of them never hatch into fish. The amalaka is a fruit found almost exclusively in India. The tree blossoms profusely, without necessarily bearing even one fruit. Also, many people bring forth the beginning resolve to cultivate the Bodhisattva Way; they hear how good it is to practice the Bodhisattva Way, so they bring forth the Bodhi mind. But after a while they realize it is not at all easy, and they prefer not to practice it. Thus, there are many newly-resolved Bodhisattvas, but few actually become senior Bodhisattvas. And so there are many of these three—fish eggs, amalaka blossoms, and newly-resolved Bodhisattvas—at the level of planting causes; but few of them actually come to fruition.

Senior Bodhisattvas have been thoroughly smelted; they have passed through the fire. That is not to say that Bodhisattvas are actually burned. It means that they have been through experiences as painful as being burned by fire and as difficult to endure as being drowned by water. By passing through so many demonic tests, the Bodhisattvas have been successfully smelted and forged. That is how they become senior Bodhisattvas. Manjushri Bodhisattva is not only a senior Bodhisattva, he is a great and inconceivable Bodhisattva, which is why he is called a Mahasattva.

And so this Mahasattva said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, all these Bodhisattvas are extremely rare.” He said, “All these many Bodhisattvas who are now before the Buddha making great vows are very unusual and rare. Reverently complying with the Buddha, they have made great vows. They are extremely respectful of the Buddha, and so they have accorded with the Buddha's intent and brought forth mighty resolutions. In the evil world of the five turbidities, they want to practice the ascetic practices of bearing what others cannot bear and doing what others cannot do. Their great vows are to protect, maintain, read, and speak this Dharma Flower Sutra in the future evil age. In the future, when it is the Dharma Ending Age, they will guard those who receive and maintain this Sutra, those who read and recite it, and those who explain The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra.

Therefore, now as we explain the Dharma Flower Sutra, there are who-knows-how-many myriads of Bodhisattvas, Hearers, and Those Enlightened by Conditions here protecting and supporting this Bodhimanda. Why? All these Bodhisattvas made the vow that wherever there is a Dharma Flower Assembly, they definitely will protect it. It is similar to Many Jewels Tathagata’s vow that wherever there is a Buddha speaking the Dharma Flower Sutra, he will appear before that Buddha to give certification.

Sutra:

“World Honored One, how should Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas speak this Sutra in the future evil age?”

The Buddha told Manjushri, “If a Bodhisattva Mahasattva wishes to speak this Sutra in the future evil age, he should dwell securely in four Dharmas. First, by dwelling in a Bodhisattva's range of practice and a Bodhisattva's range of association, he will be able to expound this Sutra for living beings.”

Outline:

F2. Asking how Bodhisattvas who are starting to practice can propagate the Sutra in the evil age.

E2. Answer
F1. General reply
F2. Explanation of methods of cultivation
G1. Happily-dwelling conduct of the body
H1. Prose
I1. Statement


Commentary:

Manjushri Bodhisattva addressed the Buddha, saying, “World Honored One, how should Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas speak this Sutra in the future evil age? How can all those great Bodhisattvas propagate The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra in the future Dharma Ending Age, when offenses and evils fill the world?” In our present world, everyone likes to fight and wage war. People fight with people, families fight with families, countries fight with countries, and worlds fight with worlds. This world wants to conquer that world, and that world wishes to vanquish this one. As a result, human beings want to migrate to the moon, and moon-beings wish to invade our Saha World. That is what is meant by the future evil age. “During the Dharma Ending Age, which is so full of evil, how can Bodhisattvas explain The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra?” Manjushri Bodhisattva asks the Buddha.

The Buddha Shakyamuni told Manjushri Bodhisattva, “If there is a Bodhisattva Mahasattva, a great Bodhisattva who has brought forth the resolve and wishes to speak this,The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra, in the future evil age, in the future world of corruption, he should dwell securely in four kinds of Dharmas. The first of the four Dharmas is that, by dwelling in the Bodhisattva's range of practice and the Bodhisattva's range of association, he will be able to expound this Sutra for living beings. He should reside where Bodhisattvas cultivate, that is, in the Six Paramitas or the Ten Paramitas. They cultivate the Ten Paramitas of giving, holding precepts, patience, vigor, dhyana-samadhi, wisdom, expedients, vows, powers and knowledge. They should reside in these Ten Paramitas, which are the Bodhisattvas’ range of practice.

The Bodhisattvas' range of association means the places Bodhisattvas draw near to. If one dwells in the state of the practice of Bodhisattvas and draws near to the state that Bodhisattvas should draw near to, then one will be able to lecture on The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra for living beings.

Sutra:

“Manjushri, what is meant by the Bodhisattva Mahasattva's range of practice? If a Bodhisattva Mahasattva dwells on the ground of patience, is gentle and compliant, not impetuous or volatile; if his mind is not frightened; if, moreover, he does not practice in regard to any dharma, but contemplates the marks of all dharmas as they really are—not, however, practicing non-discrimination—that is called a Bodhisattva Mahasattva's range of practice.”

Outline:

I2. Explanation
J1. Explanation of the range of practice


Commentary:

This section of text discusses a Bodhisattva's range of practice, which is why Shakyamuni Buddha says, “Manjushri, do you know what is meant by the Bodhisattva Mahasattva's range of practice? Do you know what constitutes the scope of cultivation of a great Bodhisattva? If a Bodhisattva Mahasattva dwells on the ground of patience—when a Bodhisattva cultivates the practice of being patient, and resides at the level of patience—what is he like? It must be that he is gentle and compliant, not impetuous or volatile.”

Being patient is not at all easy. In the past, when Shakyamuni Buddha was a Patient Immortal, King Kali dismembered his body, yet as a Patient Immortal, he did not feel any hatred or anger. That qualifies as dwelling on the ground of patience. Those who have heard the Vajra Sutra know that story, but those who have not will not know it.

Limitless kalpas ago, Shakyamuni Buddha was in the mountains cultivating the practice of patience. You may wonder, “Since there aren't any people in the mountains, with whom was he being patient? No one came into conflict with him or had any dealings with him, and so how did he cultivate patience?” His cultivation of patience did not necessarily involve being insulted. He simply endured things people cannot bear. For instance, in the mountains there are many mosquitoes, and they bite people all the time. When the mosquitoes came to bite him, the Buddha, as a Patient Immortal, was patient and did not drive them away. First of all, he wanted to practice patience, and secondly, he was afraid that if he drove them away, he would terrify them. That is an example of how he was patient with small creatures. As to larger creatures, if snakes came to bite him, he would bear it. If wolves, bears, tigers, and leopards came wanting to tear into him, he endured it. He practiced patience toward all the animals, since there were no people there.

One time, King Kali came to the mountain to hunt. He brought a large group of people with him. There were ministers, generals, and quite a few women, including the queen and the ladies-in-waiting from the palace. During the sport, each of the men went off in pursuit of whatever kind of animal he spotted. The women did not hunt, so they wandered around amusing themselves on the mountain. In the course of their explorations, they saw a very strange creature. The hair on his head was matted together like a rug, and his beard was very long. His fingernails were several inches long and had curled several loops at the ends of his fingers. The women stared and exclaimed, “What kind of monster is that?” Many of them were frightened and wanted to run away.

But then the “monster” (they could not tell if it was an animal or a human being) spoke to them. He said, “Do not be afraid of me. I won't eat you.”

The women said, “Oh, it is not a monster. He can talk like a human being.” Then the ones who had started to run away came back, for people tend to be curious. They said, “Let's go see how he can talk.”

They asked him, “What are you doing here?”

He answered, “I am cultivating.”

“What does ‘cultivating’ mean?” they asked.

He replied, “No matter what kind of trouble people give me, I endure it. I am cultivating the practice of patience.”

Once he had said a few sentences, the women were no longer afraid, and they thought, “He talks; he is a person like us.” They drew closer and closer until they had surrounded the Patient Immortal.

Meanwhile, King Kali had finished hunting and came back to look for his women. He was a long way off, but because there weren't any other sounds on the mountain, he could hear them chattering with someone. As the King approached, he saw the person had long hair and a long beard. However, he was not a hippie. You should not be misled to think hippies are like the Patient Immortal. The Patient Immortal specialized in being patient, whereas hippies specialize in being impatient, in breaking the rules and doing every kind of disreputable thing there is to do.

As soon as the King saw that strange man talking with his women, he became jealous and thought, “You freak, you must have some special skill to be able to confuse my women like that. In the royal palace they are well behaved, but now they have fallen in love with you!” Feeling incredibly jealous, he exploded, “Hey, you freak! What are you doing here?”

The Patient Immortal replied, “I am cultivating patience.”

“What do you mean ‘patience’?” the King bellowed.

“Patience means that if people scold me, I bear it. If people beat me, I bear it. No matter how badly people treat me, I still bear it.”

King Kali said, “I don't believe a word you say. You are simply tricking people. How can anyone in the world stand it if people scold or beat him?”

The Patient Immortal said, “Not only can I stand people scolding or beating me, even if someone were to kill me, I could bear it.”

King Kali fumed, “Did you hear that? He is lying right to my face. He says he would stay patient even if someone killed him. Okay, I am not going to kill you now, but do you really think you can stay patient?”

“You can give it a try,” the Patient Immortal said.

King Kali replied, “Oh, so I can try you out, can I?” Even if I didn't have your permission, I would still try you out. Do you think I don't dare? Hah! You say you could bear even someone trying to kill you. Well, I am not going to kill you now.”

Then what did he do? He took out his sword, sliced off one of the cultivator's ears and asked him, “Does that hurt or not?”

The Patient Immortal said, “It does not matter.”

King Kali raged, “You are a liar! I don't believe that when I cut off your ear, you didn't get angry. It had to hurt terribly, and yet you still say, ‘It does not matter’. Okay, I will cut your other ear off.” And he did. “How about now? Does it still not matter to you?”

The Patient Immortal replied, “Of course it does not matter.”

That made the King even angrier. “You lie right to my face and say it does not matter that I have cut off your ears. All right, I will cut off your nose.” Then he cut off the Patient Immortal's nose and asked, “What about now? You'd better hurry up and tell the truth. Don't keep lying. What I can't stand most is that you are obviously full of anger but you say you are not. That is a lie.”

The Patient Immortal said, “It still does not matter. It is not important that I do not have a nose.”

The King said, “Fine, you don't mind not having a nose, I will chop off one of your hands. There. Are you angry now?”

The Patient Immortal said, “I am not angry.”

“Wonderful,” said the King, “you are not angry, so now I will chop off your other hand and see how you take it. I want to help you accomplish your work in the Way. You cultivate patience, and no one else would dare challenge you like this. I'm an Emperor, and even if I killed you, I wouldn't commit any crime.” Then he hacked off the other hand. “How about now? You must be very happy? Both your hands are gone, and you definitely are not angry, right?”

The Patient Immortal said, “Of course not. You really do understand me. I do not have any anger.”

That enraged the King Kali even more. “There isn't anyone in the world who would not get angry if both his hands were cut off. Well, then, I will chop off one of your feet.” He did so, and asked, “Now aren't you sorry? You have cultivated patience to the point that now you don't have any hands, and you are missing a foot. You have only got one foot left. Right now if you tell me the truth, I can still let you off easy. Really, are you angry or not?”

The Patient Immortal said, “I am not angry. If my feet are gone, they're gone. Do whatever you like.”

King Kali said, “He is lying through his teeth,” and he cut off the other foot. “How about now?” he asked. “You are missing both ears, your nose, both hands and both feet. Are you angry?”

The Patient Immortal said, “I am not angry.”

The King was beginning to feel that something strange was happening. He said to himself, “This person must have some kind of trick. I have cut off so much of his flesh, but it does not hurt him, and he still says he is being patient.” He started to wonder. “Is he really being patient, or is he faking it?” He turned to the cultivator and asked, “You say you are being patient, but ultimately what proof is there that you are really patient? You have got to have some proof. Maybe I should take out your heart and see if there's any anger in it or not.” He had already chopped off the Patient Immortal's hands and feet, and now he wanted to take out his heart and look at it!

The Patient Immortal, who was Shakyamuni Buddha cultivating patience, said, “If you want to look at my heart, go right ahead. But now I will give you some proof. You have cut off my four limbs. If I have any anger, then in the future I will not become a Buddha. Instead, I will fall into the hells, become a hungry ghost, or become an animal. If I do not have any anger, then the ears you cut off will grow back, and the nose you cut off will become the way it was before you cut it off. Not only that, my four limbs will return to being just as they originally were. That is if I do not have any anger. If I was angry, then I would not be able to return to the way I was.” After he said that, in fact his ears did grow back, and so did his nose, his hands, and his feet.

When King Kali saw that, he shouted, “It is a monster! It is a monster! Quick, cut him down with your swords! I would not be able to handle him myself.” He commanded his generals to chop the Patient Immortal to bits. Right at that moment, what do you think happened? Wei Tou Bodhisattva and the Dharma-protecting spirits were outraged, and said, “You are really going too far!” Then the heavens thundered and pelted down hail on King Kali's head. The King said, “This monster is using spiritual penetrations! His powers are so great, what can I do?”

The Patient Immortal said, “It is not that I am using spiritual penetrations; the good Dharma-protecting spirits are punishing you.”

The King said, “What should I do?”

The Patient Immortal said, “Quickly repent. If you don't repent, you are in for trouble.”

King Kali said, “Please help me repent. I am afraid it won't work if I do it myself.”

And so the Patient Immortal asked the good Dharma-protecting spirits not to punish King Kali. He said, “Dharma-protectors, good spirits, do not blame him. He is just a stupid, foolish person. Not only am I not angry with him, but what is more, after I become a Buddha, I will first save this person who cut off my four limbs. I am going to save him first.”

After the Patient Immortal made that vow, King Kali was very moved. He said, “This cultivator is truly great. I treated him so badly, but he is still going to save me first!” Then the king began to cry bitterly, and he said, “After you become a Buddha, I definitely want to be your first, senior disciple. I want to be first.” Consequently, when Shakyamuni Buddha realized the Way, he first took across Ajnatakaundinya, whose name means “understanding the basic limit.” This disciple had previously committed such heavy offenses against his teacher, and yet his teacher still treated him so well and wanted to save him first. Therefore, in Buddhism, enmity and kindness don't present any problems that cannot be resolved.

After hearing this account, we should think it over. Are we able to be like Shakyamuni Buddha was when he cultivated patience? If someone cut off your hands, feet, ears, and nose, could you remainy patient? I hope you could not. Why is that? It is because if you could be patient, then someone would have to cut you up like that. If no one cut you up and you said you could be patient, would it be true or false? There is no way to tell! That is one problem. I also hope you could be patient. If you could be patient, that would indicate you were just like Shakyamuni Buddha when he was practicing as the Patient Immortal. That is why I have those hopes for you.

You may say, “But I do not want to be a Patient Immortal like Shakyamuni Buddha was then. I'd like to be a King Kali. If there were someone practicing patience, I would cut off his hands and feet, slice off his ears, and sever his nose. After that, I hope he would vow to save me first after he became a Buddha. That way I would save a lot of effort cultivating the Way, and I could certify to the fruition sooner.”

That kind of thinking is not reliable, and it is not even logical. Why is that? If you really met someone like Shakyamuni Buddha, it might work. But ordinary people cannot be compared to the Sages. If you were to cut off the hands, ears, or nose of an ordinary person who had not certified to the fruition, he would feel pain. As soon as he felt the pain, he would get angry. Once he became angry, when he died, it is to be feared he would become an asura. As an asura, he would want to kill you, and then the resentment between the two of you would increase day by day. For that reason do not imitate King Kali.

It is a good thing the king encountered Shakyamuni Buddha, who made the vow to save him first. Otherwise, what he did to the Patient Immortal would have been very dangerous. What if Shakyamuni Buddha had not made that vow? How could the king have been sure that Shakyamuni Buddha would make the vow to save him first? He would not have any control over it. He would not be able to count on it. And so, instead of acting like King Kali, you had better think of another method.

“How should I be?” you may ask. You should be without patience.

“If I should be without patience, then why are you telling people to be patient?” you may wonder. “If I should not have any patience, then why are you even bringing the subject up? If there is not supposed to be any patience, then why did the Buddha talk about the Paramita of Patience?”

Being without patience is true patience. Not having any patience is real patience. No patience is genuine patience.

You may ask, “How do you explain that? When the Dharma Master speaks the Dharma, it is not reasonable. He says whatever he wants.”

What is meant by ‘being without patience’? It means you are patient, but you do not feel like you are being patient. You do not think, “Oh, I am being patient. I was patient that time.” That is an attachment. You should be patient as if you were not being patient. Having patience should be ‘as if not having any’:

Having as if not having;
Being real as if being unreal.

For instance, suppose someone scolds you, and you think, “I'll be patient with his scolding.” In your mind there is still a “scolding.” If you are ‘as if without patience’, then you basically don't even know that you are being scolded; it is as if it were not even happening. Then there is basically no patience involved. That is what is meant by no patience. If you have the concept of “patience,” then you have an attachment.

“I do not believe it,” you say.

Well, if you do not believe it, then believe what you want.

“It is not that I do not believe it, but Shakyamuni Buddha still remembered that when he was practicing as a Patient Immortal, King Kali cut off his limbs. He had not put it down. He was still attached. If he was not attached, then why did he remember it?”

His remembering was not remembering, and your understanding is not understanding. That is the general meaning of patience. Sometimes it is easy to be patient once, or even twice, but by the third time, one loses patience. As soon as one loses patience, one loses all the merit and virtue acquired from being patient before. That is why it is said:

One spark of fire
Burns up a forest of merit and virtue.

Furthermore, the Bodhisattva Mahasattva “is gentle and compliant”. Gentle means yielding and not contending. Compliant means good-tempered and agreeable. The Great Bodhisattva who practices patience and cultivates the Bodhisattva Way must be gentle and compliant, and “not impetuous or volatile”. Being impetuous means being over-hasty and doing things all in a rush, very abruptly. Things done that way end up being not at all in accord with principle. Being volatile means having an explosive temper. A Bodhisattva who cultivates the Bodhisattva Way should not have a volatile temper. His mind is not frightened. His mind does not become alarmed or terrified concerning anything. Why not? Because he has the power of samadhi.

If, moreover, he does not practice in regard to any dharma. A Bodhisattva Mahasattva is without any “doing” in regard to all dharmas, but that does not mean he does not act. Rather, he has no thoughts of attachment to cultivation. He does not have that kind of attached thinking. He does practice, but it is as if no such thing were going on. Why is that? It is because he can really put everything down. But contemplates the marks of all dharmas as they really are. A Bodhisattva contemplates all dharmas as empty. If you were to tell most people that all dharmas are empty, they would not cultivate. They would think, “All dharmas are empty, and so what is there to cultivate? Cultivation is empty, too. If I do not cultivate, that is also empty, and so why do I have to cultivate?” That is the outlook and understanding of those externalist ways, and the sort of thing they say. A Bodhisattva, however, contemplates all dharmas as empty. He knows that they are empty, and enters the reality of all dharmas, being in accord with the wonderful principle of reality.

Not, however, practicing non-discrimination—he also does not form views of non-discrimination. Externalists say that all dharmas are empty, and so they do not discriminate and do not cultivate. That is the externalists' view of non-discrimination. “Everything is empty,” they say, “and so why are you discriminating?” They cultivate this kind of deviant view of non-discrimination, but a Bodhisattva does not cultivate this kind of deviant view.

That is called a Bodhisattva Mahasattva's range of practice. What was just described is the Bodhisattva Mahasattva's happily dwelling conduct of the body, the range of practice of the body.

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